Half a year old already – Wow, what a pleasure this child of ours has been over the last six months! This has been a fun month in terms of developments. Elijah has not made any huge leaps, but he is getting stronger and more purposeful in his movements. He sees something that he wants, and he goes for it. When he holds toys, he holds them more steadily now. His hair is growing quickly, and even though he started getting a bald patch on one side of his head about a month ago, that has all grown back. The front is still a little thin though, but it’s filling in! Sometimes when I look at him now, he no longer looks like a baby, but rather a little boy. The fact that he is closer to a year than his birth baffles me (and makes me a little sad too). We love this little guy so much, it’s been a joy to spend half a year with him!
*Elijah hasn’t seemed to have grown much at all during the last month. People have commented that he looks thinner and/ or taller – he is only maybe a centimeter taller and 0.2lbs heavier. We are not sure if this is due to incorrect measuring on our part, or he has not grown this month!? At the end of the month, we noticed that the fat roll crease on his left thigh was completely gone (but not on the right, lol). He looks healthy, has plenty of dirty diapers, sleeps through the night without getting hungry, and is very happy, so we think he is doing fine.
|Almost sitting… falling over|
Elijah had two vaccinations this month – DPT and Polio (his 4 month shots, he is behind) – and everything went smoothly. We have figured it all out. Since Justin has to be at work on the days that we are scheduled for shots, Elijah and I go alone, and we know the steps to take, even though no one there speaks any English. Somehow, there is always a kind Chinese grandmother who makes sure that we get to the counter. As with everything else in China, you need to push push push to get to where you need to be. That isn’t such a problem if you come with someone to help you, but I go alone with little man, so we are often stuck in the middle of all those pushy people. Thankfully, some granny always sees me, with my baby, and clears a path for us!
We had a rough time around week 24 when Elijah’s teething drive him – and us – insane. He was gnawing on everything, moaning, crying, and constantly fussing. A friend of ours sent us an Amber teething necklace, and since putting it on, he has been a different baby. We also bought him a “Sophie the Giraffe” teething toy, and he really loves it. It is easy to hold, feels great, and even squeaks (which he loves). During the rough teething days he wouldn’t nap, and he woke up a lot through the night. The Amber necklace is said to work miracles for some, and do nothing for others. It appears that, for now at least, it is certainly working for us!!
|No solids yet, but he loves to lick apples|
Eating: All is well, and Elijah is feeding like a champ. He still nurses for about 10 minutes at a time approximately every 3 hours during the day. No feeds during the night unless he is sick. We have such a close bond now that feeding is really a special time for us. He looks into my eyes, makes patterns with his fingers on my skin, and smiles at me happily. Six months old – no bottles, no pumping, no fuss. We love it!! At this point, we could introduce solids, but we are going to try and delay a little longer since breastmilk is the best for him and protects him from a lot of the terrible germs going around at the moment. It is incorrect to assume that babies MUST be fed solids at this stage, so we will make the transition over to “real” food at a later stage. To be honest, things are so simple right now… Why would we want to change that? We’ll keep it simple for a little bit longer. No food, no bottles, and no smelly diapers.
Sleeping: As I mentioned, he woke up to eat during the night while he had a cold. Around the same time, he started to refuse his daytime naps. I thought that he was heading into some weird sleep-strike, but it turns out that he couldn’t breath properly though his nose, so he would start screaming! That was quite frightening, and rather draining, but we were back on track within a week.
We experienced a very frightening case of “night terrors” during week 22. Elijah woke up three times in one night screaming and inconsolable. We thought that he was having a nightmare, but when we couldn’t wake him and nothing that we were doing helped, we realized that we just had to hold him. We googled this scenario and found out that he was having night terrors, which are a common sleep occurrence among children. I have to admit, this was very scary and stressful, but once we read more about what was happening we felt a little better. We later read that Elijah would not remember any of it, and that it was better not to try and wake him. While it was happening, we DID, however try everything to wake him up, but nothing worked! He screamed like he was being hurt, and then suddenly he would open his eyes and look at us confused. Scary stuff! [Thankfully, since week 22 there have been no further night terrors!]
Elijah basically follows the 2-3-4 schedule when it comes to sleep. Very simply, if he wakes up at 8pm, he goes down for a nap 2 hours later. When he wakes up from that nap, 3 hours later he goes down for his afternoon nap. And finally, four hours after he wakes from his afternoon nap, he goes to bed. His bedtime is roughly 7-8pm, which has been nice for us since we now have alone time at night. Not only that, but he also sleeps for 10-12 hours without waking up, so besides for colds/ teething, nighttime is really just mommy-and-daddy time, and we love that!
|… when teething gets the best of you!|
Clothing: Elijah didn’t outgrow any outfits this month. As I said above, his growth seems to have slowed down dramatically! He is mostly in 6 month clothing, some 6-9 month outfits, and a couple 12 month PJ’s. He is slim but tall, so many items are too wide, or too short. He’s already like his dad in that department!
|Yunnan Cuisine – Family date|
Social: Eli loves to smile at people, stare at their face, and then when he feels comfortable he will touch their check with his hand, and even try to kiss them (with his mouth open, of course). He is such a funny little guy, and the ladies love him. Even strangers stop to look at him, and then melt when he smiles. Although he is a very happy baby, he often has a very serious straight-faced look. It is only when he is comfortable and sure of a situation that he starts “talking”, laughing and moving around excitedly. Many people ask, “Why does he look so serious?” haha… he seems to be reserved at first, like both Justin and I are when we meet new people.
New this month:
Elijah is using his hands much more freely now. He reaches for toys and moves them around, or towards his mouth so he can gnaw on them. We have also noticed that he is using his fine motor skills to put up things that we put in from of him. By the end of the month, he was even making use of his thumb and forefinger – the pincher grasp – to pick up things. When we hold him above a toy, he reaches down to pick it up. We call him “the claw”, because he looks like the machine that you put a coin in and then try to win a teddy/ toy. He plays well by himself, and barely “asks for much” if he is feeling good. When he is teething he makes moaning noises, and on those days, I know that he needs extra cuddles and attention.
Eli has been trying to put a knee under himself after he lifts his body off the ground with his arms, but it almost seems like he will be a baby that just “scoots around”. He hasn’t got up on all fours yet, but he can somehow get all over the room by just scooting, rolling, and squirming his body up and down like a worm. He turns around in circles without any effort at all. It’s amazing!
|He’s trying to get moving|
When he is in his Jumperoo, he has started to lift his arms towards us when he wants to be picked up. This is not a very clear move yet, but it is developing. He has definitely started to move his hands towards us as we walk to him with our arms stretched out. I can’t describe how this small development melts our hearts! We can’t wait until he can say “Up” with those sweet baby arms of his lifted towards us.
|Standing on his play-mat|
He no longer lies on his play-mat much, and likes to stand up and hold onto the arch of it. Although he can stand and hold onto furniture, he is unpredictable and often just bends his knees, so we don’t let him do this, even though he wants to. He has almost hit his face a few times, so we are hoping he waits until he is a bit stronger before her starts pulling himself up onto things. He lays next to furniture and looks up at it like he is trying to figure out how to climb it.
In the mornings, Elijah wakes up before me and rolls around in his crib, playing and “talking”. He often puts his legs high up on the bars and rattles the bars while making funny gurgling noises. After being woken up repeatedly to the rattling sound coming from him kicking the bars, I stuffed some socks between his crib bars and the mattress, so he can no longer make this sound. He now wakes up and lifts the front of his body high up, and makes hilarious sounds to wake me up. He has also been eyeing the top bar of his crib. It almost seems like he is calculating how he can pull himself up towards to. He reaches his hand towards it, but hasn’t yet tried that in combination with putting a knee underneath himself.
He now sits in the shopping cart at the grocery store, while mommy and daddy do the grocery shopping. This has been a great development because we both have our hands free, and Elijah gets to look around. He does get a lot more attention from those passing by, but that’s okay.
Elijah’s babbles and gurgles have been really amusing this month! He is SO LOUD – he shrieks, shouts, laughs, and strings various sounds together. Same as with some previous months, we are pretty sure that we have heard him say “mama” again (on December 4th), but he is simply just stringing sounds together.
Last week it sounded like he said “dada” too, but he’s just adding more constants to all those vowels he has been practicing. The cutest new thing that he does this month is “talking” for long stretches and while doing that sticking out his tongue. In the process, he blows spit everywhere and then when we look at him he gets the hugest grin on his face. Oh my word – it’s the funniest thing!
– Elijah now lifts his body off the ground, then scoots backwards instead of forwards. This is pretty funny to watch because he obviously wants to move forward but instead he goes backwards.
– He now moves around in circles at an amazing speed;
– Elijah moved from sitting with both hands on the ground, to sitting with one hand on the ground and using the other hand to grab his toys;
|Carols by Candlelight|
Dislikes: Not much has changed in this department, except he now loves the Ergo even though he can’t face outwards. Probably because it is so cold now, and facing us means extra cuddles and shielding from the icy air! Elijah absolutely HATES hates having his nose cleaned. Even if the boogers are all crusty and completely blocking his airways, he can’t stand it being wiped! (I think his nose may have been sore inside from the dry air – poor boy!)